Saturday, 21 December 2013

Happy Holly Days

On Thursday, all of Ty went into town to collect money for the ISPCC for their Christmas appeal: Holly Days

We went off in pairs to different areas of Dublin city and began collecting. Myself and Melissa were outside the Shelbourne hotel. It wasn't long before we had a chant going: 'Holly for the ISPCC'. After a short while we were singing Christmas carols and really getting into the spirit of things. Even if people couldn't give money we at least put a smile on their faces. People were very generous and they said we were the best collectors on the road ;) It felt so good to have collected a fair bit for this wonderful charity. The money will help childline at Christmas so that no child's call goes unanswered. Not only did we have great fun collecting, it was also very character building to talk to strangers and sing (quite loudly) in the street. I would definitely love to do this again next Christmas. Consider me signed up!

Happy Hollydays,


Friday, 20 December 2013

My Sister's Keeper- Book Review.

I recently read 'My sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult. What I knew about this book before I read it was that it was about a young girl with leukemia. I found out that it was about so much more than that. This book is about Anna, who was brought into this world to save her sister. She was genetically altered so she would be a perfect match to donate blood and even organs for her sister. The book is told from multiple perspectives but it mostly follows the relationship between Anna and her sister. Her mother, Sara, tells us of the various operations Kate has had to have and the operations involved and how she suffered. Anna's suffering, in Sara's mind, is of little importance when it comes to saving Kate's life.

My opinion of Sara changed multiple times throughout the book. At times I hated her, for never considering how Anna felt or how things would affect her. I hated her for always making Kate the number one priority. However, this opinion was conflicted by the fact that her daughter's life was at risk and I know any mother would do anything to save their child's life. I think she was blinded by the fact that Kate was dying and although the operations were not life threatening for Anna, they could greatly decrease the quality of her life. Anna's father had more of a conscience towards Anna and took an interest in her, but when emergencies strike, it is difficult not to think of the child whose life is at risk.

When Kate enters the end stages of kidney failure, receiving one of Anna's kidneys is her only chance of a prolonged life. Anna refuses to donate. Knowing her parents won't listen to her protests, Anna approaches Campbell Alexander, a prominent lawyer with a service dog named Judge. She seeks medical emancipation,  where she can decide what she wants to do with her body and not what her parents think is best. However, sometimes parents do know best and this is constantly on her mind. Campbell agrees to work without charge because of the publicity the case will generate. However, Anna's determination wavers under intense pressure from her angry mother, who also happens to be a lawyer. When Sara turned on Anna for wanting the right to her own body, I really despised Sara. I thought that it was ridiculous to be fighting with one daughter about trying to save the other. Surely Sara, of all people, should know that life is too short for that. As you can see, at times this book frustrated me, but only because I didn't know who was right or wrong. Also, sometimes morals clashed with ethics. Of course everyone should have a right to their own body, but should we even question donation when it means saving your sister's life?

With regards the way the story was told, from different perspectives, at first I found it quite confusing but once I got into the story, I found it very interesting to see what each person in the family had to say about the court case and the events in the Fitzgerald household. For example, Campbell Alexander could come across as a selfish, bitter man, but when we hear things from his perspective, we see that he really cares about Anna, and I found it reassuring that he, at least, cared about her.

I don't usually cry at books but its very difficult not to get at least upset at this ending, and while I'm not going to give anything away, expect the unexpected. It taught me that life is too short for fighting and you never know what could happen next. I would highly recommend this book for anyone 13 years and older. I would give it an excellent ten out of ten as it kept my attention from start to finish and I really enjoyed it. It really tugs on your heart strings and its a book that will stay with me forever. I never reread books, but I would certainly read this one again as there is so much to it. Picoult really puts across the message that life is short, so don't take it for granted. I think we can all learn a thing or two from the story of Anna Fitzgerald.

By Lauren O'Reilly

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

3... 2... 1.. Launch!

Friday night was the launch of the school musical and to say I was a bit nervous beforehand would be an understatement. The whole cast was at the hotel, so things were a bit hectic with performers and stage managers buzzing around. The choir kicked off the night with a few lovely carols, unfortunately I couldn't take part as I was preparing for performance but they set off the night really well :) also some fifth years did a really cool medley of Christmas songs.

Ms L was the M.C. for the night and introduced everybody and told everyone what the musical was about, then I sang Secret Love, which the ballet dancers did a beautiful dance to. Once I got started the nerves went away. Róisín ( Katie) and I sang 'A Woman's Touch' and then everybody joined in for The Deadwood stage and everyone performed really well. I really enjoyed the night and now I can't wait for the real thing! Well done to everyone involved. Hopefully the show will be just as successful. I'm so excited for it! I hope to see you all at the opening night on the 25th of February :)

Thanks guys,

Lauren :)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Keeping you posted.

Hey guys! Just an update on what we have been up to in school, besides the trips etc. So every week we get an hour and twenty minutes of ZUMBA which I absolutely love. Its great exercise and it doesn't even feel like it. Its a great alternative to heading to the gym!


Lately we have all been really busy preparing for the musical, with rehearsals three times a week. Its been super busy but I'm really enjoying it. We are also preparing for the launch on Friday night, hope to see you all there for a taster of what to expect. Here's another of the songs from the musical :)


I have just finished my fantastic time at the Chemistry Department in NUIM. I am really going to miss going there every Wednesday as I learnt so much and enjoyed every week. The people there were so kind and friendly and made me feel part of the team. Myself and Sophie did our work experience there together and we both enjoyed it so much. We got to do plenty of experiments and helped out at the science night also which was fun. Anyone with an interest in chemistry, like myself, would absolutely love work experience there and I would highly recommend it.

Anyway, hopefully those of you in the school can come to the launch tomorrow night at 8! Thanks guys!